You’ve probably heard it over and over again: “you need to build a list!” But maybe you’re still skeptical.
After all, hasn’t email’s functionality been replaced over the years by social media and mobile technology, among other things? And aren’t my customers too riveted to Facebook or Snapchat or Periscope or whatever’s next to pry their eyes away long enough to read my email?
Maybe. But for leveraging your existing customers for sales and business growth, email still reigns supreme over other channels.
Why? Here are 6 reasons.
1. Email lets you reach your customers on your time
Your email list allows you to stay in touch with your audience when they’re not at your business. Instead of communicating with your customers only when they come to you, email marketing lets you go to them whenever you have news to share.
2. Email helps develop customer relationships
Emailing your list is an opportunity to build real, meaningful relationships with your customers.
The direct and personal nature of email lends itself to sharing value – and a bit of your personality – with people who have already indicated their interest in what you have to say (they signed up for the list, after all). If you are the face of your business, your email communications can be an especially powerful branding tool.
3. Email is a sales machine
Lists are amazing for generating sales. Keeping your customers (who, again, have already indicated their interest in hearing from you) aware of happenings in your business is a great way to get them in the door.
Announce product launches, promotions, and more to your list after you’ve spent some time building a relationship with them, and your conversion rates will reflect the effort.
4. Email is automatic
Wait – what effort? You can automate almost everything.
By using an email marketing client like AWeber or Constant Contact, you can create timed sequences that are automatically sent to new signups. These sequences are not only great for building relationships, but for converting prospective customers into paying customers (if they aren’t already).
5. Your email list belongs only to you
Email contact lists are more stable than Facebook likes or Twitter followers. When somebody opts into your email list, you get to keep their email forever. You own your email list.
Facebook and Twitter own your likes and followers lists, and each opt-in’s contact information is effectively shielded from you. Delete your Facebook page, lose your likes list.
That’s not to say that social media is useless – it’s definitely not. Use it as another channel to grow your email list, which should be the core of your digital communications efforts.
6. Email is a great source of customer feedback
Email lists allow you to learn more about your customers through their email interactions with you. And of course, customer feedback is critical to improving your business.
Most email marketing software allows you to segment your customers into different groups for more targeted communications, which helps build even stronger customer relationships.
Email is, of course, just one channel. And depending on what you do with it, your mileage may vary. But when undertaking campaigns to do more with your existing customer relationships, it is indispensable.
That’s why Grade.us incorporates automated email campaigns into our platform: to allow you to reach out personally to everyone on your existing mailing list and ask, remind and guide them through writing reviews. We also provide copy-and-paste template emails that you can set up within your own email marketing software.
Besides, email has been around for 44 years! So until Snapchat, Meerkat and the like show sign of that kind of longevity, I have only one piece of advice: you need to build a list!